FanPost

What WAR tells you about this year's edition of the Chicago Cubs

Cubs batters apparently were NOT so bad, maybe just mediocre,  in that their overall score was 16.5 (9th in the NL) sandwiched between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers (who had the top player in Matt Kemp). St Louis almost doubled the Cubs with a 30.0 team batting WAR, Cincinnati was 2nd scoring a 24.8, followed by Milwaukee with 24.3, (you had better mash the ball in the NLCD). For all its reputation Colorado was the worst with wilted 7.1, a few notches below Pittsburgh's 8.2. Note, the other division winners, Philadelphia and Arizona both scored 22.2 and 22.1 respectively, meaning all four playoff teams were in the top five. Atlanta scored a 13.3.

What does it mean? If there are eight position players (batters) it is established that the average regular position player (or combination of platoon players) average 2.0, than the Cubs starters collectively scored an average, though one could say their WAR is still below par if you include pitchers batting. Buried in the data is an interesting finding that the Cubs were -49 (8th) in number of runs produced by an average batter, thus they had more activity than production.This is confirmed when isolating their offensive WAR (removing defensive WAR numbers) where their WAR falls to 15.9 (now 8th). Cubs were not the worst in defense only 6th worst measuring a 0.6 WAR in that category---at least they weren't the Mets who were -8.4 or the Rockies -4.2!

Now on to pitching: Cubs ranked 15 out 16 teams with a 7.6 WAR, (Houston was worst with a -0.7) and Cincinnati was 14th with a 10.2---owing to why they are not playing this weekend where they had the second best offensive WAR. Translated the Cubs WAR of 7.6 is 51% off the average (Mets at 15.5). Inside the stats is that the Cubs pitchers are but 60 runs collectively better than replacement value (meaning minor league prospect or AAAA player). Now understand that 65 out of that 60 is represented by Garza (28), Marshall (19), Dempster (8), Marmol (6) and Wood (4). Well, except for some sentimental reasons and possibly a mentoring role or two you can dump most of the staff.

All told this is what a team that is 21 games below .500 who is now looking forward to hiring a new front office staff and hopefully an field management crew....And just think it was one of the most expensive rosters in the league.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of SB Nation or Al Yellon, managing editor (unless it's a FanPost posted by Al). FanPost opinions are valued expressions of opinion by passionate and knowledgeable baseball fans.

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